Belfast Telegraph

Jessopp targets speed trap record in North West glory bid

By Paul Lindsay

Martin Jessopp will return to the North Coast in May looking to better the 208mph speed trap record he currently holds at the Vauxhall International North West 200 circuit.

Former World Supersport rider Jessopp (27) will return to the Triangle on a stable of BMW S1000RR machinery for the showpiece, and will no doubt be closely observed by regular front-runners Alastair Seeley, Michael Rutter and John McGuinness.

The Yeovil man, runner-up at last year's Macau Grand Prix, has plenty of road racing pedigree and believes the German-built BMWs will give him a great chance to "right a few wrongs" at the North Coast festival in just nine weeks time.

"Last year my tyre de-laminated in the first Superbike race because of the heat generated by the high speeds and then in the second race I got knocked off at Mathers by Gary Johnson and broke my collarbone," he recalled.

Jessopp will have plenty of track time on his BMW prior to the North West 200 Superbike races on May 18, as he will campaign them for a full season in British Superbike. And with three rounds scheduled at Brands, Thruxton and Oulton prior to arriving in Portrush, he is undoubtedly a dark horse for a top step this time around.

Discussing his aspirations for the event, he said: "The big bike races are the ones I want to win as they are the races with the best riders on the grid.

"The Superstock bike will purely be for extra track time and any result will be a bonus."

Jessopp is also on the hunt for a 600cc machine to campaign at the North West and, having ridden at world level just last year, on the right machine he could also trouble the big favourites.

He added: "I have a lot of experience in the class and am sure I could challenge for a top three place on the right bike, but either way I'm really looking forward to the North West.

"The G-forces involved hitting those colossal speeds on the Superbike and then slowing down is a big strain on the body.

"My neck was sore for a week after last year's event!"

Belfast Telegraph


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